the latest episode
Are you working over 40 hours a week while putting your personal life on hold?
the latest episode
Are you working over 40 hours a week while putting your personal life on hold?
If you follow Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founders of 37signals, anywhere online, you know they aren’t afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what they believe in.
“When dealing with customers, especially those that are angry, there are always two tokens on the table. One is the token for it just doesn’t matter. It’s not a big deal. And the other token is it’s the end of the world. We pick one, and the customer picks the other.”—Chase Clemons
What is your method of connecting with your customers? Does your product or service make sense to them, and do you understand how they see it?
With the year ending, it’s a good time to reflect on how far you’ve come in the past year as a company.
A small business has many benefits, like being able to move quickly, stay flexible and pivot when needed, something big businesses can’t do as easily.
Customer relationships don’t have to last forever. Keeping your hands wrapped around every customer will only lead to trying to evolve into something you’re not is the death knell for your business.
“Getting out of estimates and getting into appetites and budgets is the single most important thing that we have instituted,” - David Heinemeier Hansson
There’s a lot of talk in the tech world about getting bigger, growing as fast as you can, and getting investor money so you can scale quickly.
Throughout its tenure, 37signals has consistently grown without spending much on marketing.Small Business
Meetups offer remote companies an opportunity to gather away from the day-to-day for more in-depth conversations that foster deeper relationships for the team and bigger leaps for the company.Small Business
Co-founders of 37signals, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson discuss decision making within an organization. Small businesses have the advantage of being nimble and able to change course quickly, so there’s no reason to get caught up in the “what ifs.”Small Business, DHH and Jason Fried
Cloud services have been used by tech companies for many years, but it’s not the only way. Hear why 37signals is making the decision to go in another direction.Big Tech
You’ve been working on a thing for days, weeks, maybe months and you’re still nowhere near finishing. Our natural instinct is to say, “I’ve already put this much time and energy into it, might as well finish.” Well, most of the time this is wrong. You’re not getting that time back either way and...Rework Revisited
Building and maintaining momentum is one of the most underrated things you can do when building products. Keep moving forward by shipping work early and often. The longer something takes, the less likely it is you’ll finish it. At 37signals, we work in six-week cycles, but even six weeks is a long...Rework Revisited
At 37signals, we tend to solve problems by finding a “judo solution.” The simplest, easiest, cheapest solution that gets you 90% of the way there. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be good enough. Part of this is reframing and simplifying the problem itself....Rework Revisited
Meetings are the worst type of interruption. A one-hour meeting with five people is actually five hours of productivity lost. They’re also horrible at conveying information. So, why do so many companies jump to meetings as the first option. Next time try writing something up, jumping on a a...Rework Revisited
A close look at how we develop features at 37signals. Designer Michelle Harjani walks Shaun through the entire process of making the Bubble Up Feature in HEY.Basecamp Behind the Scenes, HEY
Having a calendar peppered with meetings or other commitments is horrible for productivity. Most people need at least a few hours or even days of completely uninterrupted alone time in order to do their best work. On this episode Jason and David give some strategies for creating the empty space you...Rework Revisited
Are you doing work that matters or are you just doing what you think you should be doing? Sinking too much time into something that you should have quit working on weeks ago is an easy trap to fall into. Avoid it by asking yourself some simple questions:Rework Revisited
Simply describing your pitch can cause the illusion of agreement. Everyone may have a completely different idea of what you’re talking about. Try sketching it out, hum the melody you want to create, or, better yet, start building the thing. Removing these levels of abstraction ensures everyone is on...Rework Revisited
If you had to launch your thing in just two weeks what would you cut out? Put off anything you don’t absolutely need for launch. You can always build that stuff later when you have more information. It’s best to just get it out there!Rework Revisited
Henry Ford turned wood scraps from Model T production into charcoal. That company is now called Kingsford and it’s the leading manufacturer of charcoal in America. 37signals was a small web design firm before it started selling the project management tool it made to communicate with clients. That’s...Rework Revisited
Any photographer will tell you it doesn’t really matter what camera you use if you know how to take a good picture. So often, businesses obsess over getting a fancy office, the best software or breakroom snacks, when they really should be focusing on getting customers and making money. It doesn’t...Rework Revisited
A lot of companies focus on chasing hot trends or new technology. That’s all fine and good, but the core of your business should be built around the things that people will always want. In the case of Basecamp, that means speed, simplicity, and great customer service. For a company like Amazon, it...Rework Revisited
When things aren’t working, it’s human nature to throw more at the problem. More money, more people, more time. However, this usually ends up making the problem bigger. So, do less! Reframe the problem in such a way that it can be solved with fewer people, less money, and without endlessly pushing...Rework Revisited
Everyone has more ideas than they can realistically fit in a product. A good museum doesn’t just throw everything in its collection up on the walls. There’s a curation process. Someone says, “no.” It’s in making these edits that the real product comes out, so embrace it!Rework Revisited
Basecamp was in Miami last week. I sat down with Jason and David to talk about why we were there, the importance of meeting colleagues in person, and investing in culture.Rework Revisited
It’s so easy to punt on something; to say, “let’s wait until we have enough information to make the perfect decision.” Perfect decisions don’t exist, putting things off makes them pile up, and you’ll end up getting absolutely nowhere. Very few decisions are set in stone. So, make calls as quickly as...Rework Revisited
It’s incredibly easy to focus too much on the little details of what you’re building. You can spend hours and hours on something that will rarely ship with the final product. And, details are important! But, early on is not the time to worry about them. Focus on the basics first and worry about the...Rework Revisited
When starting something new, you can work on the stuff you could do, the stuff you want to do, and the stuff you have to do. It’s the stuff you have to do is where you should begin. To find that epicenter ask yourself, “if I took this one thing away, would what I’m selling still exist.”Rework Revisited
You can’t do everything you want to do and do it well. You just don’t have the time, resources, people, etc., so you’re going to have to cut some things. But, this isn’t a bad thing at all! As with any other early constraints, embrace the editing process. Your product will be better off for it!Rework Revisited
When you’re just starting off you’re going to be surrounded by constraints. You probably won’t have enough time to do everything you want to do. You probably don’t have enough people or money either. Don’t worry! These are good things! It’s when you’re boxed in that you’re forced to make tough...Rework Revisited
Businesses can get weighed down by things like excess staff, countless meetings, long-term contracts, etc. The more mass they take on the harder it is change direction. Being able to change direction, to change your mind, is essential to building a successful company.Rework Revisited
A lot of people start businesses with the hope that they’ll be able to sell it quickly for a huge pile of money. While this might happen sometimes, it’s extremely rare and even worse, the businesses created with this goal sacrifice so much just for the chance to sell. They sacrifice their customers,...Rework Revisited
Last episode of the year and we’re talking about startups. The new dry cleaner down the street doesn’t call itself a startup. The pizza place on the corner doesn’t call itself a startup. They’re new businesses, that’s all! So, what’s so special about your tech company that you need a fancy word for...Rework Revisited
Before you start your great new business you’ll NEED to hire some people, raise some money, rent an office, buy some ads, etc. etc. OF COURSE YOU DON’T. These are all just the trappings entrepreneurs tell themselves they need, when in reality, all you need is to start making something.Rework Revisited
Taking outside money to start your business may seem like a good idea, but there are a ton of strings attached… You give up control. Cashing out becomes the #1 priority. It’s addictive. It’s usually a bad deal. Customers become less important than investors… You get the idea. Outside money should...Rework Revisited
Last episode we discussed how important it is to stand for something and you’d think writing your values down in a mission statement would be a great way to let people know exactly what you stand for. Well, you’d be wrong. Mission statements are almost always vapid, boring, platitudes that end up...Rework Revisited
Whenever you start something, especially a business it’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Having strong opinions, standing for something, can help tremendously when it comes to making crucial decisions and creating super-fans.Rework Revisited
“There’re just not enough hours in the day!” This is probably the most common excuse people give for not starting something. Well, guess what. There most definitely are a few hours you could probably squeeze in here and there. And, we’re not saying you have to quit your day job to do it!Rework Revisited
This week Jason and David discuss the essay titled “Start Making Something.” It’s only when you start building something the real insights come. Until then, all you have is just an idea. We also talk about Stanley Kubrick films and Jason introduces groundbreaking concepts like perforated pizza and...Rework Revisited
Basecamp was originally designed as a way to manage 37signals’ client work and its success can be credited to the fact that it was designed to scratch a very specific itch by the people with that were itching. Now, we’re not saying that building something for others is necessarily a bad way to go...Rework Revisited
This week we discuss the importance of doing meaningful work. At least meaningful to you. What you do is your legacy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change the world. You just need to be doing something that changes YOUR world.Rework Revisited
“Entrepreneur” sounds really fancy. Like a member of some exclusive club. But, what we’re really talking about is just someone who starts something. Is it time to retire this word? Is there a better word to replace it? Can a business podcast go 30 minutes without talking about Steve Jobs, luxury...Rework Revisited
Working long hours, putting in overtime, logging on on the weekends, have become badges of honor, but there’s a big difference between work and getting stuff done. This week Jason and David push back against this idea of workaholism.Rework Revisited
Basecamp has always prided itself on staying small and lean. But, with two major products, we’re going to change that. The question when looking to grow, however, is “why?”Rework Revisited
People put too much stock in making long-term plans, but let’s call them what they really are: guesses. On this episode we discuss deadlines, business plans, world domination, and Dungeons & Dragons.Rework Revisited
“Fail early and often.” You hear this all the time in the tech start-up world. Failure has long been held up as a badge of honor for new start-ups. This week Jason and David take on this idea and make a pitch for learning from your successes instead of your mistakes.Rework Revisited
We continue our revisit of Rework with the essay, “Ignore the Real World.” Topics include new ideas failing, risk avoidance, and Marvel movies.Rework Revisited